Why This German Race Track Is The Most Dangerous In The World

Why This German Race Track Is The Most Dangerous In The World


The Nürburgring. If you’ve spent any
time reading about cars, you’ve probably heard the term. What is it? It’s a merciless 13-mile track with terrifying twists, turns, and dips, and arguably the most dangerous
race course in the world. But it’s become a sort of
holy destination for drivers, professional and amateur,
who make the pilgrimage to the small town of Nürburg, Germany. Since its construction in 1927, the ring has tragically claimed the lives of just under 70 motorsport heroes. Legendary Formula One
driver Jackie Stewart famously crowned the
track the “Green Hell,” a nickname it holds to this day. But just what makes the
Nürburgring so brutal? The Nürburgring is actually composed of two different courses, but it’s the site’s northern
loop, or Nordschleife, that most associate with the track. As the world’s longest racetrack, the Nordschleife remains
the ultimate test of skill amongst professional drivers
competing in extreme races, like the 24 Hours of
Nürburgring endurance race. A closer look at the
track reveals three things that make it such a challenge, even for the most skilled drivers: the steep elevation changes, blind corners, and the
lack of runoff areas. Let’s start with the elevation changes. For an idea of just how
severe the Nürburgring’s are, the total difference in altitude from the track’s highest point to its lowest is a jaw-dropping 985 feet. And it doesn’t occur gradually, either. The shifts in elevation
are abrupt and spontaneous, providing plenty of challenges for those who don’t know
the track thoroughly, and even those who do. One of the best examples of
this happens fairly early in the track, at a
section known as Fox Hole. This section features
five sweeping corners that can be taken at full speed! But it’s at the last corner, when the track goes into
a steep downhill descent then immediately elevates, that you feel more g-forces
than you’ve ever felt. To better understand what
driving through it is like, we caught up with someone
who circles the Ring over 1,000 times every year. Misha Charoudin is a race-car driver, course instructor, and YouTuber who knows every inch of the
track like the back of his hand. He’s even managed to
guide a driver around it while completely blindfolded! Misha Charoudin: You have Fox Hole. It’s a very, very
downhill descent followed by instant climb. And what a lot of people do, they think, like, “Oh, let me see what
the top speed of my car is because I’m going downhill now.” And then they brake at the lowest point. The issue here is the weight transfer. When you brake at the complete bottom, you have the weight transfer ready because the car will change direction from going downhill to uphill, and when you apply the brakes on that, you will most likely
end up in the barrier. Narrator: But it’s near the Ring’s end that drivers face one of the most daunting sections of racetrack in the world when it comes to elevation change. Located 10.5 miles into the track is a section called Pflanzgarten. Known for its number of
career-ending accidents, there is zero room for error on this series of jumps and turns where drivers will find
it nearly impossible not to go airborne. Misha: So, you actually,
literally, your car will jump three times over, I would
say, a period of one minute. Your car will be airborne
one time straight before the braking zone, one time you will go a
bit sideways maybe even in the air as well, and
one time you will be going over 120 mph over a slight
bump while changing direction. So, when you have a mistake
there it will usually end up in a very, very…let’s say track closure. People will have to close the track, how bad of an accident it’s going to be. Narrator: But it isn’t
simply jumps and drops that cause so many accidents
on the Nürburgring. On a 13-mile track made up of around 170 different tight corners, about 90% of them are blind. The Ring’s infamous turn
they call Kallenhard, about five miles into the
track, is the perfect example of just how blind these corners can be. Misha: It’s difficult
because it’s very blind and it gets very tight. It has a very, very, very late apex, and people just don’t expect that. Because they think, well,
the turn should be over now. No, it gets tighter, tighter,
tighter, and it’s very blind. And you see a lot of
accidents happen there. So you have to stay very slow,
very much on the outside, slow feet, fast hands, and get it right. And this is something that
people really mess up. So this is, I would say in
terms of the blind corner, Kallenhard is definitely one
of the most challenging ones. Narrator: It’s also the lack
of sufficient runoff areas that separates the
Nürburgring from the rest of the world’s professional racetracks. While most courses feature
plenty of zones for out-of-control vehicles to
safely depart from the track, less than a handful of
corners at the Nürburgring have what could even be
considered runoff areas. For the majority of the course, drivers will find that
there is less than a meter separating the track from the barriers. This means that even the
slightest mistakes can result in cars smashing into the walls. But as intimidating a track
like the Green Hell can be, Misha has a few simple words of advice for those everyday drivers looking to tackle the Ring for
the very first time. Misha: I always say, you
cannot impress here anyone after 93 years of history, but you can make everybody laugh. So make sure to be the person
that does not make us laugh after ending up on YouTube
for some bad crash video.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

93 Comments

  1. Let's also not forget the fact that the track conditions are quite bad in some areas + occasional oil spills (hence why you don't see many motorcyclists on the track).

  2. Just imagine the actual purpose of the Germans building the nurbugring is to kill people. Ok I'm just kidding the track itself is beautiful yet deadly.

  3. lol, don't make us laugh with a YouTube crash video. Best advice you can give someone running there, but they do it anyway and we keep laughing

  4. I was there for the first time last month👍 Much more impressive and intimidating in person… Will go there again for the 24H race nexr year👌

  5. Such amateurs, how can you make an all round reportage about the Nurburgring and not mention Niki Laudas accident, and talk about Jackie Stewards instead? Dis an intern/first year student make this? Like do some research maybe

  6. I call total bs. It chould be calles the green heaven . Dont be scaring people. Tell them to be safe. Look out for idiots driving and not following rules

  7. There is one vehicle that is made to tackle the Nurburging. PORSCHE. THATS IT! EVERYONE TAKES THE BACK SEAT. matter fact I'd venture to say that the Porsche can take on any dangerous road. The actual design of the vehicle and the suspension tunning along side its engine are perfect for the job if tight turning, winding roads

  8. I never ran in it but I really don't understand the fascination about this race track. Too long straights for the technical turns it has. I prefer shorter tracks that we make between 1.40 to 2.00 minutes per lap

  9. Fun fact (if you think it's a fun fact) Hitler approved of its construction because at first he didn't like motorsports but then he realized he can watch german engineering fly around the track

  10. I thought jumps are only available in mini 4 wheel drive races. But no. You have to jump your car in real life too. I guess back to gran turismo 4 then.

  11. Nice vid, my brother who doesn’t like cars as much as me actually listened to this video and now understands the reverence for this track

  12. The Nurburgring is the perfect example of a track where the old adage of building gradual speed with practice pays off.

  13. Ah shit i think the ring is going to ban Business insider for “bad publicity” like they did with Auto Addiction lol

  14. "run-off areas" are behind corners or around corners, in case of failing to brake or bad turning, not at the sides of a straight.

  15. It's the most dangerous permanent circuit, yes. But overall the most dangerous circuit is the Snaefell Mountain Course

  16. More like most stupidest channel ever get a life Nürburgring is probably one of the best tracks out there open to the public

  17. I used to live 45 minutes from the Ring, half the fun of the ring was the drive/ride over there. I did many laps around there on my Ducati, car/s and even my bicycle. There is nothing that compares to doing a lap around that place, because of the location, and depending on the time of year you can actually experience 4 season during 1 lap. Start in the sun, run into rain, snow, sleet and back to sunshine, the ring is also very unforgiving and I have seen many track closures that brought out the meat wagon and helicopters. Non the less, If I was still living there I would still be doing laps every chance I could get.

  18. I don't mind imperial units but please for the sake of literally the rest of the world include a conversion to metric, thanks 🙏🏽

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